Vegetable Explosion Chana Dal

This rich Vegetable Dal will warm you up on a cool spring afternoon and is full of garden goodness. The exciting spices in the tempering contrast with fresh lemon juice impart a complexity of flavors right at the end.

Chana Dal are young, slightly sweet split garbanzo beans (aka chickpea). They hold their form well through cooking and are perfect for this vegan Indian curry. You can use lentils too. As far as the vegetables go, use whatever is in your refrigerator. We did! 


Jump to the Vegetable Explosion Chana Dal Grocery List

Jump to the Vegetable Explosion Chana Dal Nutritional Information


Vegetable Explosion Chana Dal Recipe


  • Prep: 40 minutes
  • Serves 6
  • Recommended equipment: small frying pan, a large cooking pot 


  • 2 cups Chana Dal 
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ Tbs coconut oil
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ cup bell pepper
  • ½ cup carrots
  • 1 jalapeño or other hot green pepper
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • ½ cup kale or spinach

The Tempering (spiced oil to add at the end of cooking)

  • 1 Tbs oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 chopped garlic cloves
  • 5 dried curry leaves
  • 3 dried hot red chili peppers

  • ½ cup cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Rinse Chana Dal, cover and soak. In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic in coconut oil. Add turmeric and salt.
  2. Finely chop bell pepper, carrots, and jalapeño. Drain Chana Dal and add the dal and chopped vegetables to the pot. Add water to the point where water covers ingredients by 1”. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to simmer.
  3. Chop the cauliflower, broccoli and kale/spinach. After 10 minutes add them to the dal. Stir and add water to the top of the mixture.
  4. To make your tempering, add oil, mustard seeds, cumin, garlic, curry and dried red chili to a small pan. Sauté until peppers are a shade darker and mustard seeds start to pop. Turn off heat.
  5. When dal is soft, add cilantro and tempering spices and oil. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.


Chef's Tips 

What's a tempering?? Spices are heated in oil to enhance aspects of their flavor. The whole spices and oil are added to the final dish. Larger spices, like whole cloves and dried red peppers, are traditionally picked out as you eat. Tempering seems like an extra step, but you cannot replicate the flavor a tempering imparts by adding the spices as you cook, or using ground spices. Plus, heating the tempering smells and looks colorful and delicious! Read more about tempering here.

We recommend serving over Basmati Rice. 

***If you have leftovers, save them for Sunrise Vegetable Curry Samosas with Cilantro Lime Chutney! You'll want them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Recipe coming soon!

**Scroll down for your vegan grocery list and nutritional analysis of Vegetable Explosion Chana Dal.**


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Written by Your Vegan Family 

Stacy and Markus live a thriving vegan lifestyle with their two young boys. They write articles and offer courses to inspire you about plant-based cooking, teach you how to stay healthy and stay vegan, and moderate a private online Thriving Vegan Family Community where you can interact directly with them, other families, and plant-based enthusiasts about a vegan lifestyle, nutrition, and raising vegan kids.

They earned degrees in molecular biology and acupuncture, consulted over decades for healthcare companies and individuals, created businesses in Asian medicine, eco-tourism, cultural immersion, and taught yoga in myriad venues. They also offer individual health and wellness coaching to individuals who are motivated to improve the quality of their lives. 

We’ve learned a lot from eating a plant-based diet for 25 years and are eager to help you have fun going vegan and stay vegan. Learn more on our About Us page.

Eat. Thrive. Make a difference. 


Vegetable Explosion Chana Dal Grocery List

  • onions
  • garlic cloves
  • bell pepper
  • carrots
  • jalapeño
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • kale or spinach
  • fresh cilantro
  • lemon
  • Chana Dal
  • coconut oil
  • turmeric
  • mustard seeds
  • cumin seeds
  • curry leaves
  • dried hot red chili pepper
  • salt


Vegetable Explosion Chana Dal Nutritional Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutritional calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. This program didn't have dal or curry leaves in its database, so we substituted lentils and bay leaves, which have a comparable nutritional value. 





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